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La búsqueda secreta de Sir Isaac Newton del motor de Dios

La búsqueda secreta de Sir Isaac Newton del motor de Dios

Isaac Newton, físico, matemático, astrónomo, inventor y filósofo natural inglés, fue uno de los científicos más influyentes y consumados de la historia. Sin embargo, después de la muerte de Newton, causó gran vergüenza a la comunidad científica cuando se descubrió que era el principal alquimista de Europa. Pero, ¿cuántos de sus logros científicos de cambio de paradigma resultaron de su búsqueda de la "Piedra filosofal" y su traducción de la "Tabla esmeralda de Hermes"?

Copia de un retrato de Sir Isaac Newton por Sir Godfrey Kneller (1689)

El tesoro secreto de Newton adquirido por John Maynard Keynes

En julio de 1936, el economista John Maynard Keynes regresó de la casa de subastas Sotheby’s en Londres con un cofre lleno de artículos inéditos escritos a mano, libros de laboratorio, diagramas y más de un millón de palabras inéditas de Sir Isaac Newton. Contrariamente a lo que se esperaba, los artículos nunca antes vistos de Newton no ilustraban sus reflexiones sobre la mecánica celeste, el cálculo, la óptica o la teoría matemática, sino su trabajo personal sobre la teología esotérica y sus notas de laboratorio alquímico. Si bien Isaac Newton era considerado un centinela imponente del método científico en una plataforma global, secretamente era un pensador profundamente místico, mágico y animista.

El Proyecto Newton El sitio web proporciona escaneos de artículos escritos por John Maynard Keynes, ofreciendo a los investigadores información sobre los pensamientos internos de Newton, por ejemplo: "el universo era un criptograma creado por El Todopoderoso". Newton se propuso: "leer el enigma de la Deidad, de los eventos pasados ​​y futuros divinamente predestinados" y, según Keynes, Newton recurrió a las primeras obras filosóficas de los intelectuales europeos del siglo XVI que formaron la sociedad secreta mística: The Ancient & Mystical Orden Rosae Crucis, más conocida como los Rosacruces.

El Templo de la Rosa Cruz, por Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens (1618) ( Dominio publico)

Profundamente religiosos y anticatólicos, al igual que Newton, los rosacruces se esforzaron por crear un líquido llamado milixir Vitae y una sustancia llamada "piedra filosofal", necesaria para producir cantidades ilimitadas de oro. El libro de Michael White de 1999 Isaac Newton: El último brujo nos dice que Newton poseía: "169 libros sobre alquimia", incluida una traducción al inglés muy comentada de los Manifiestos Rosacruces de Thomas Vaughan; La Fama y Confesión de la Fraternidad R.C. y Themis Aurea de Michael Maier, un trabajo temprano clásico sobre los orígenes del gnosticismo y el movimiento rosacruz.

Una cita de Keynes, publicada en Sir Isaac Newton, el último hechicero resume perfectamente la importancia que Newton asignó a la alquimia en su búsqueda de verdades universales: "Newton estaba motivado por un compromiso profundamente arraigado con la noción de que la sabiduría alquímica se remonta a la antigüedad.


10 historias extrañas de Isaac Newton y el descenso a la locura # 8217

En su apogeo, Isaac Newton tenía una de las mentes más racionales de la historia de la humanidad. El suyo era un cerebro diferente a cualquier otro, uno que le permitió desarrollar las leyes fundamentales de la gravedad y la física, así como hacer contribuciones significativas al cálculo, este último lo hizo en menos tiempo del que le toma a la mayoría de la gente aprenderlo.

Pero toda mente excepcional es inusual, y ninguna lo fue más que la mente de Isaac Newton. A medida que la vida de Newton se prolongó, su control sobre la cordura comenzó a deslizarse lentamente y sus intereses se desviaron de lo científico a lo místico.

Newton escribió diez millones de palabras a lo largo de su vida, pero la mayoría de ellas no tenían nada que ver con la ciencia. La abrumadora mayoría de los pensamientos que puso por escrito se referían a la alquimia, las profecías y el misticismo antiguo y mdasha, un lado extraño y poco conocido de una de las mentes científicas más importantes de la historia de la humanidad.


Contenido

La tablilla declara a su autor como Hermes Trismegistus ("Hermes el tres veces mayor"), una combinación helenística legendaria del dios griego Hermes y el dios egipcio antiguo Thoth. [2] Como la mayoría de las otras obras atribuidas a Hermes Trismegistus, el Tablilla esmeralda es muy difícil de fechar con precisión, pero generalmente pertenece al período antiguo tardío (entre c. 200 y c. 800). [3] La fuente más antigua conocida del texto es el Sirr al-khalīqa wa-ṣanʿat al-ṭabīʿa (El secreto de la creación y el arte de la naturaleza, también conocido como el Kitāb al-ʿilal o El libro de las causas), una obra enciclopédica sobre filosofía natural atribuida falsamente a Apolonio de Tyana (c. 15-100, árabe: Balīnūs o Balīnās). [4] Este libro fue compilado en árabe a finales del siglo VIII o principios del IX, [5] pero probablemente se basó en fuentes griegas y / o siríacas (mucho) más antiguas. [6] En la historia marco del Sirr al-khalīqa, Balīnūs les dice a sus lectores que descubrió el texto en una bóveda debajo de una estatua de Hermes en Tyana, y que, dentro de la bóveda, un viejo cadáver en un trono dorado sostenía la tablilla de esmeralda. [7]

Versiones ligeramente diferentes del Tablilla esmeralda también aparecen en el Kitāb Usṭuqus al-uss al-thānī (El segundo libro del elemento de la fundación, C. 850-950) atribuido a Jabir ibn Hayyan, [8] en la versión más larga del Sirr al-asrār (El secreto de los secretos, una compilación del siglo X de obras anteriores que se atribuyó falsamente a Aristóteles), [9] y en el alquimista egipcio Ibn Umayl (ca. 900-960) Kitāb al-māʾ al-waraqī wa-l-arḍ al-najmiyya (Libro del agua plateada y la tierra estrellada). [10]

los Tablilla esmeralda fue traducido por primera vez al latín en el siglo XII por Hugo de Santalla como parte de su traducción del Sirr al-khalīqa. [11] Se tradujo de nuevo al latín junto con la traducción del siglo XIII de la versión más larga del pseudo-aristotélico Sirr al-asrār (Latín: Secretum secretorum). [12] Sin embargo, la traducción latina que formó la base de todas las versiones posteriores (la llamada 'vulgar') fue originalmente parte de una compilación anónima de comentarios sobre el Tablilla esmeralda llamado diversamente Liber Hermetis de alchimia, Liber dabessi, o Liber rebis (siglo XII o XIII). [13]

De pseudo-Apolonio de Tyana Sirr al-khalīqa (c. 750–850) Editar

La primera versión conocida del Tablilla esmeralda en el que se basaron todas las versiones posteriores se encuentra en el pseudo-Apolonio de Tyana Sirr al-khalīqa wa-ṣanʿat al-ṭabīʿa (El secreto de la creación y el arte de la naturaleza). [14]


حق لا شك فيه صحيح
إن الأعلى من الأسفل والأسفل من الأعلى
عمل العجائب من واحد كما كانت الأشياء كلها من واحد بتدبير واحد
أبوه الشمس ، أمه القمر
حملته الريح في بطنها ، غذته الأرض
أبو الطلسمات ، خازن العجائب ، كامل القوى
نار صارت أرضا اعزل الأرض من النار
اللطيف أكرم من الغليظ
برفق وحكم يصعد من الأرض إلى السماء وينزل إلى الأرض من السماء
وفيه قوة الأعلى والأسفل
لأن معه نور الأنوار فلذلك تهرب منه الظلمة
قوة القوى
يغلب كل شيء لطيف ، يدخل في كل شيء غليظ
على تكوين العالم الأكبر تكوّن العمل
فهذا فخري ولذلك سمّيت هرمس المثلّث بالحكمة [15]

Desde el Kitāb Usṭuqus al-uss al-thānī (ca. 850-950) atribuido a Jabir ibn Hayyan Editar

Una versión algo más corta se cita en el Kitāb Usṭuqus al-uss al-thānī (El segundo libro del elemento de la fundación) atribuido a Jabir ibn Hayyan. [8] Líneas 6, 8 y 11 a 15 de la versión en el Sirr al-khalīqa faltan, mientras que otras partes parecen estar corruptas. [16] La versión de Jabir fue traducida por Eric J. Holmyard:

حقا يقينا لا شك فيه
إن الأعلى من الأسفل والأسفل من الأعلى
عمل العجائب من واحد كما كانت الأشياء كلها من واحد
وأبوه الشمس وأمه القمر
حملته الأرض في بطنها وغذته الريح في بطنها
نار صارت أرضا
اغذوا الأرض من اللطيف
بقوة القوى يصعد من الأرض إلى السماء
فيكون مسلطا على الأعلى والأسفل

¡Verdad! ¡Certeza! ¡Eso en lo que no hay duda!
Lo que está arriba es de lo que está abajo, y lo que está abajo es de lo que está arriba.
obrando los milagros de una [cosa]. Como todas las cosas eran de Uno.
Su padre es el Sol y su madre la Luna.
La Tierra lo llevó en su vientre, y el Viento lo alimentó en su vientre,
como Tierra que se convertirá en Fuego.
Alimenta a la Tierra de lo sutil,
con el mayor poder. Asciende de la tierra al cielo
y se convierte en gobernante de lo que está arriba y lo que está abajo.

Del pseudo-aristotélico Sirr al-asrār (siglo X) Editar

Una versión aún posterior se encuentra en el pseudoaristotélico Sirr al-asrār (Secreto de secretos, siglo X). [17]


حقا يقينا لا شك فيه
أن الأسفل من الأعلى والأعلى من الأسفل
عمل العجائب من واحد بتدبير واحد كما نشأت الأشياء من جوهر واحد
أبوه الشمس وأمه القمر
حملته الريح في بطنها ، وغذته الأرض بلبانها
أبو الطلسمات ، خازن العجائب ، كامل القوى
فان صارت أرضا اعزل الأرض من النار اللطيف
أكرم من الغليظ
برفق وحكمة تصعد من الأرض إلى السماء وتهبط إلى الأرض
فتقبل قوة الأعلى والأسفل
لأن معك نور الأنوار فلهذا تهرب عنك الظلمة
قوة القوى
تغلب كل شيء لطيف يدخل على كل شيء كثيف
على تقدير العالم الأكبر
هذا فخري ولهذا سمّيت هرمس المثلّث بالحكمة اللدنية [18]

De la traducción latina del pseudo-Apolonio de Tyana Sirr al-khalīqa (Naturaleza de secretis) Editar

La tablilla fue traducida por primera vez al latín en el siglo XII por Hugo de Santalla como parte de su traducción de la Sirr al-khalīqa (El secreto de la creación, árabe original arriba).


Superiora de inferioribus, inferiora de superioribus,
prodigiorum operatio ex uno, quemadmodum omnia ex uno eodemque ducunt originem, una eademque consilii Administratione.
Cuius pater Sol, mater vero Luna,
eam ventus in corpore suo extollit: Terra fit dulcior.
Vos ergo, prestigiorum filii, prodigiorum opifices, discretione perfecti,
si terra fiat, eam ex igne subtili, qui omnem grossitudinem et quod hebes est antecellit, Spatiosibus, et prudenter et sapientie industria, educite.
A terra ad celum conscendet, a celo ad terram dilabetur,
superiorum et inferiorum vim continens atque potentiam.
Unde omnis ex eodem illuminatur obscuritas,
cuius videlicet potentia quicquid sutil est transcendit et rem grossam, totum, ingreditur.
Que quidem operatio secundum maioris mundi composicionem habet subsistere.
Quod videlicet Hermes philosophus triplicem sapientiam vel triplicem scientiam appellat. [19]

De la traducción latina del pseudoaristotélico Sirr al-asrār (Secretum secretorum) Editar

La tablilla también se tradujo al latín como parte de la versión más larga del pseudo-aristotélico. Sirr al-asrār (Latín: Secretum Secretorum, árabe original arriba). Se diferencia significativamente tanto de la traducción de Hugo de Santalla (ver arriba) como de la traducción vulgar (ver abajo).

Veritas ita se habet et non est dubium,
quod inferiora superioribus et superiora inferioribus encuestado.
Operador miraculorum unus solus est Deus, a quo descenit omnis operacio mirabilis.
Sic omnes res generantur ab una sola substancia, una sua sola disposicione.
Quarum pater est Sol, quarum mater est Luna.
Que portavit ipsam naturam per auram in utero, terra impregnata est ab ea.
Hinc dicitur Sol causatorum pater, tesauro miraculorum, largitor virtutum.
Ex igne facta est terra.
Separa terrenum ab igneo, quia sutile dignius est grosso, et rarum spisso.
Hoc fit sapienter et discrete. Ascendit enim de terra in celum, et ruit de celo in terram.
Et inde interficit superiorem et inferiorem virtutem.
Sic ergo dominatur inferioribus et superioribus et tu dominaberis sursum et deorsum,
tecum enim est lux luminum, et propter hoc fugient a te omnes tenebre.
Virtus superior vincit omnia.
Omne enim rarum agit in omne densum.
Et secundum disposicionem majoris mundi currit hec operacio,
et propter hoc vocatur Hermogenes triplex in philosophia. [12]

Vulgata (del Liber Hermetis de alchimia o Liber dabessi) Editar

La traducción latina más ampliamente distribuida (la llamada 'vulgar') se encuentra en una compilación anónima de comentarios sobre el Tablilla esmeralda llamado diversamente Liber Hermetis de alchimia, Liber dabessi, o Liber rebis (siglo XII o XIII). [20] Nuevamente, difiere significativamente de las otras dos primeras versiones latinas.

Verum sine mendacio, certum, certissimum.
Quod est superius est sicut quod inferius, et quod inferius est sicut quod est superius.
Ad preparanda miracula rei unius.
Sicut res omnes ab una fuerunt meditacione unius, et sic sunt nate res omnes ab hac re una aptatione.
Pater ejus sol, mater ejus luna.
Portavit illuc ventus en ventre suo. Nutrix ejus terra est.
Pater omnis Telesmi tocius mundi hic est.
Vis ejus integra est.
Si versa fuerit in terram separabit terram ab igne, sutil a spisso.
Suaviter cum magno ingenio ascendit a terra in celum. Iterum descendit en terram,
et recipit vim superiorem atque inferiorem.
Sicque habebis gloriam claritatis mundi. Ideo fugiet a te omnis obscuritas.
Hic est tocius fortitudinis fortitudo fortis,
quia vincet omnem rem subtilem, omnemque rem solidam penetrabit.
Sicut hic mundus creatus est.
Hinc erunt aptationes mirabiles quarum mos hic est.
Itaque vocatus sum Hermes, tres tocius mundi partes habens sapientie.
Et completum est quod diximus de opere solis ex libro Galieni Alfachimi.

Cierto es, sin falsedad, cierto y sumamente verdadero.
Lo que está arriba es semejante a lo que está abajo, y lo que está abajo es semejante a lo que está arriba.
para realizar los milagros de una cosa.
Y como todas las cosas fueron por la contemplación de una, así todas las cosas surgieron de esta única cosa por un solo acto de adaptación.
Su padre es el Sol, la madre, la Luna.
El viento lo llevó en su seno, la tierra es su nodriza.
Es el padre de todas las maravillas del mundo entero.
Su poder es perfecto.
Si es arrojado a la tierra, separará el elemento tierra del fuego, el sutil del denso.
Con gran sagacidad asciende suavemente de la tierra al cielo. De nuevo desciende a la tierra,
y une en sí misma la fuerza de las cosas superiores e inferiores.
Así poseerás la gloria del resplandor del mundo entero, y toda oscuridad volará lejos de ti.
Esta cosa es la fortaleza de toda fuerza,
porque vence todo lo sutil y penetra toda sustancia sólida.
Así fue creado este mundo.
Por lo tanto, se lograrán maravillosas adaptaciones, de las cuales la manera es la siguiente.
Por eso me llamo Hermes Trismegistus, porque tengo tres partes de la sabiduría del mundo entero.
Se completa lo que tenía que decir sobre la operación de Sol.

Latin (Nuremberg, 1541) Editar

A pesar de algunas pequeñas diferencias, la edición de Nuremberg del siglo XVI del texto latino sigue siendo en gran medida similar a la vulgata (ver más arriba). Una traducción de Isaac Newton se encuentra entre sus artículos alquímicos que se encuentran actualmente en la biblioteca de King's College, de la Universidad de Cambridge:

Verum sine mendacio, certum, et verissimum.
Quod est inferius, est sicut quod est superius.
Et quod est superius, est sicut quod est inferius, ad perpetranda miracula rei unius.
Et sicut res omnes fuerunt ab uno, meditacióne unius, sic omnes res natae ab hac una re, adaptación.
Pater eius est Sol, mater eius est Luna.
Portavit illud ventus in ventre suo.
Nutrix eius terra est.
Pater omnis telesmi [21] totius mundi est hic.
Vis eius integra est, si versa fuerit in terram.
Separabis terram ab igne, sutil ab spisso, suaviter cum magno ingenio.
Ascendit a terra in coelum, iterumque desciende in terram, et recipit vim superiorum et inferiorum.
Sic habebis gloriam totius mundi.
Ideo fugiet a te omnis obscuritas.
Haec est totius fortitudinis fortitudo fortis, quia vincet omnem rem subtilem, omnemque solidam penetrabit.
Sic mundus creatus est.
Hinc erunt adapteres mirabiles, quarum modus hic est.
Itaque vocatus sum Hermes Trismegistus, habens tres partes philosophiae totius mundi.
Completum est, quod dixi de operatione Solis.

Es cierto sin mentir, cierto y muy cierto.
Lo que está abajo es como lo que está arriba y lo que está arriba es como lo que está abajo
hacer el milagro de una sola cosa
Y así como todas las cosas han sido y surgieron de una por la mediación de una, así todas las cosas nacen de esta única cosa por adaptación.
El sol es su padre, la luna su madre,
el viento lo llevó en su vientre, la tierra es su nodriza.
El padre de toda la perfección en el mundo entero está aquí.
Su fuerza o poder es total si se convierte en tierra.
Aparta la tierra del fuego,
lo sutil de lo burdo
dulcemente con gran industria.
Asciende de la tierra al cielo y nuevamente desciende a la tierra
y recibe la fuerza de las cosas superiores e inferiores.
De esta manera tendrás la gloria del mundo entero y, por lo tanto, toda la oscuridad huirá de ti.
Su fuerza está por encima de toda fuerza,
porque vence todo lo sutil y penetra todo lo sólido.
Así fue creado el mundo.
De esto son y vienen adaptaciones admirables donde uno de los medios está aquí en esto.
Por eso me llamo Hermes Trismegist, teniendo las tres partes de la filosofía del mundo entero.
Lo que he dicho del funcionamiento del Sol se ha cumplido y terminado.

En sus diversas recensiones occidentales, el Tableta se convirtió en un pilar de la alquimia medieval y renacentista. Los comentarios y / o traducciones fueron publicados, entre otros, por Trithemius, Roger Bacon, Michael Maier, Albertus Magnus e Isaac Newton. El texto conciso era un resumen popular de los principios alquímicos, en el que se pensaba que se describían los secretos de la piedra filosofal. [22]

El alquimista del siglo XIV Ortolanus (o Hortulanus) escribió una exégesis sustancial sobre El secreto de Hermes, que influyó en el desarrollo posterior de la alquimia. Muchos manuscritos de esta copia del Tablilla esmeralda y el comentario de Ortolanus sobrevive, que se remonta al menos al siglo XV. Ortolanus, como Albertus Magnus antes que él, vio la tableta como una receta críptica que describía los procesos de laboratorio utilizando nombres de mazos (o palabras de código). Este fue el punto de vista dominante de los europeos hasta el siglo XV. [23]

A principios del siglo XVI, los escritos de Johannes Trithemius (1462-1516) marcaron un cambio de una interpretación de laboratorio de la Tablilla esmeralda, a un enfoque metafísico. Trithemius equiparó a Hermes una cosa con la mónada de la filosofía pitagórica y el anima mundi. Esta interpretación del texto hermético fue adoptada por alquimistas como John Dee, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa y Gerhard Dorn. [23]

En la serie de televisión de viajes en el tiempo Oscuro, el misterioso sacerdote Noé tiene una gran imagen del Tablilla esmeralda tatuado en la espalda. La imagen también aparece en una puerta de metal en las cuevas que son centrales a la trama. Se muestran varios personajes mirando copias del texto. [24] Una línea de la versión latina, "Sic mundus creatus est", juega un papel temático destacado en la serie y es el título del sexto episodio de la primera temporada. [25]

En 1974, el cantante brasileño Jorge Ben Jor grabó un álbum de estudio con el nombre A Tábua de Esmeralda ("The Emerald Tablet"), citando el texto de la Tablilla y de la alquimia en general en varias canciones. El álbum ha sido definido como un ejercicio de "alquimia musical" y celebrado como el mayor logro musical de Ben Jor, mezclando ritmos de samba, jazz y rock. [26]


9. Determina la cronología de los reinos antiguos.

Newton amaba los números, el orden y las civilizaciones antiguas. ¿Qué mejor pasatiempo para el hombre que calcular las fechas en que ocurrieron los eventos bíblicos y míticos y cuando reinaron las civilizaciones de la antigüedad? En 1728, La cronología de los reinos antiguos de Newton se publicó póstumamente en Londres. Es un tratado de 87.000 palabras (piense en 87 artículos de Toptenz) en el que Newton interpreta meticulosamente textos egipcios, griegos, romanos y bíblicos para formar un relato coherente de la historia humana avanzada. Recopiló casi 500 fuentes para respaldar sus afirmaciones. Este trabajo a menudo se agrupa con los estudios ocultistas de Newton debido a la naturaleza de la cronología. Incluye personajes míticos como Hércules y Edipo como personas reales y lugares legendarios como Troya y Atlantis como lugares reales. Además, teje figuras religiosas aparentemente dispares en su cronología como si dijera que los dioses griegos, Moisés y Zoroastro son parte de una única línea de tiempo muy real. El texto completo está disponible aquí.


Alexander Bogdanov

Alexander Bogdanov era un hombre ruso nacido con muchos talentos. Fue médico, filósofo, escritor y revolucionario soviético. Éramos bien conocidos por su trabajo en la transfusión de sangre y creemos que había encontrado una manera de mantener la juventud eterna o la inmortalidad a través de la transfusión de sangre.

En 1924, comenzó a realizar experimentos de transfusión de sangre en sí mismo y muchos otros también se ofrecieron como voluntarios para participar en sus experimentos. Se cree que estaba llegando a algún lugar con su trabajo porque su cuerpo mostraba síntomas positivos luego de someterse a 11 transfusiones de sangre. Su colega Leonid Krasin escribió una carta a su esposa diciendo que "Bogdanov parece haberse vuelto 10 años más joven después de la operación". Pero murió cuando durante una transfusión extrajo sangre de un estudiante que padecía malaria y tuberculosis.

Bueno, el misterio es que murió, pero el estudiante al que le inyectaron su sangre se recuperó perfectamente de la enfermedad.


El Newton que no conocías


Ilustración de Isaac Newton (1643-1727) en Encyclopaedia Londinensis, o diccionario universal de artes, ciencias y literatura. . . compilado, digerido y organizado por John Wilkes. . . asistido por eminentes eruditos, Londres, Adlard, 1810–29. La Biblioteca Huntington, el Museo de Arte y los Jardines Botánicos.

Isaac Newton (1643-1727) es generalmente considerado como uno de los individuos más importantes en la historia de la ciencia, y es recordado principalmente por su trabajo sobre filosofía natural, matemáticas y astronomía. Además de articular las leyes del movimiento que sentaron las bases de la mecánica clásica, Newton fue la primera persona en formular una ley de gravitación universal y también co-inventó el cálculo (al mismo tiempo que su némesis Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz). De hecho, Newton ha sido retratado a menudo como la encarnación del genio científico que anuló la superstición y marcó el comienzo de la Era de la Razón.

Entonces, cuando salió a la luz a principios del siglo XX que Newton no solo era un alquimista practicante, sino que también tenía interpretaciones heterodoxas de la teología cristiana y pasaba mucho tiempo, por ejemplo, intentando desentrañar los códigos bíblicos numerológicos, la comprensión de Newton como el icono de la ciencia moderna fue puesto en tela de juicio. En su ensayo de 1946 "Newton, el hombre", el economista británico John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) capturó sucintamente este sentimiento cuando escribió que “Newton no fue el primero de la era de la razón: fue el último de los magos. "

En los últimos años, sin embargo, los historiadores de la ciencia han explorado los diversos aspectos del pensamiento de Newton para dar un retrato más matizado, y más allá de obligarnos a reconsiderar nuestra comprensión de Newton el hombre, este trabajo ha sido fundamental para un replanteamiento más amplio de algunos de nuestros supuestos sobre la historia de la ciencia. Los eruditos todavía están desenredando las complejidades del pensamiento de Newton, pero su trabajo generalmente ha apuntado hacia una comprensión más coherente de Newton donde, por ejemplo, sus búsquedas alquímicas informaron otras partes de su filosofía natural.


El tratado de alquimia "Praxis", que data de la década de 1690, contiene el intento de Newton de descifrar el proceso de sintetizar la piedra filosofal a partir de una variedad de otros textos alquímicos. La colección Grace K. Babson de las obras de Sir Isaac Newton en la Biblioteca Huntington, el Museo de Arte y los Jardines Botánicos.

El Huntington ha jugado un papel importante en este replanteamiento de Newton, ya que alberga la colección más grande de Newtoniana en los Estados Unidos. La mayoría de nuestras participaciones en Newton están en préstamo de Babson College (en Wellesley, Massachusetts), cuyo fundador, Roger Babson, y su esposa, Grace K. Babson, eran importantes coleccionistas. El interés de los Babson en Newton surgió de la idea de que las relaciones humanas y los mercados económicos estaban gobernados por la ley de acción y reacción de Newton, al igual que los objetos en el mundo físico. Además, Roger Babson era un emprendedor y teórico de los negocios cuya filosofía, al igual que la de Newton, desafiaba las convenciones y era tremendamente ambiciosa.

Reconociendo la importancia de los materiales de Newton para el patrimonio cultural y la erudición, los Babson se comprometieron a preservar la colección y ponerla a disposición para su uso, por lo que en 1995, se colocó en depósito en la Biblioteca Burndy del Instituto Dibner del MIT. Luego, en 2006, toda la Biblioteca Burndy, incluida la Colección Babson, llegó a The Huntington, donde nuestro personal de conservación y curador se ocupa de los materiales, y donde académicos de todo el mundo continúan explorando los diversos intereses de Newton.

Los materiales de Babson sobre Newton se han presentado en la exposición permanente de la biblioteca "Beautiful Science", así como en la exposición actual en el West Hall de la biblioteca, "What Now: Collecting for the Library in the 21st Century, Part 1" (a la vista hasta el 2 de febrero). 17). Además, The Huntington organizó una conferencia en 2014 dedicada a Newton, titulada “¿Todo en piezas? New Insights into the Structure of Newton's Thought ”, que fue financiado con fondos del Programa de Historia de la Ciencia Dibner en The Huntington.


Este pequeño manuscrito tiene numerosos dibujos alquímicos y astrológicos de la propia mano de Newton. Newton era un lector voraz de literatura alquímica, y está claro que extrajo gran parte del material de este manuscrito de otros textos alquímicos, incluido, por ejemplo, uno que habla de un autor alquímico seudónimo que afirma ser Nicolas Flamel (ca. 1330-1330-1330). 1418). Colección Grace K. Babson de las obras de Sir Isaac Newton en la Biblioteca Huntington, el Museo de Arte y los Jardines Botánicos.

William R. Newman, profesor de la Universidad de Indiana y Profesora Visitante Eleanor Searle 2014-2015 de Historia de la Ciencia en Caltech y The Huntington, publicó recientemente Newton el alquimista: ciencia, enigma y la búsqueda del "fuego secreto de la naturaleza", un libro que se basó ampliamente en los manuscritos alquímicos de la Colección Babson. Especialmente importante fue el manuscrito llamado "Praxis", que Newman describe como "El espécimen existente más desarrollado del intento de Newton de resolver los procesos de los adeptos".

Desde la Ilustración, la alquimia a menudo se ha considerado una pseudociencia que obstaculizaba el progreso científico, pero los manuscritos alquímicos de Newton muestran que, al igual que su trabajo en física y matemáticas, su trabajo en alquimia combinó teoría y práctica, lectura cuidadosa con experimentación práctica, y demostró su extraordinaria atención al detalle. Al igual que su física, mostró lo que Newton pensó que era su mejor cualidad: lo que llamó "pensamiento paciente". También vemos que Newton estaba motivado por una profunda curiosidad y la creencia de que ningún desafío intelectual era demasiado abrumador para afrontarlo, ni siquiera para descubrir los secretos del mundo material. Más allá de esto, sin embargo, Newman se encuentra entre un grupo de historiadores que han demostrado que la alquimia practicada por Newton y otros aspirantes a la piedra filosofal tuvo una influencia importante en el surgimiento de la ciencia moderna, por ejemplo en el desarrollo de la teoría del atomismo. y el concepto de balance de masa, la noción de que la masa de entrada de un proceso químico debe ser igual a la salida.


Isaac Newton, Un tratado o comentarios sobre el Templo de Salomón. “Prolegomena ad lexici profhetic partem secundam in quibus agitur De forma sancturaii Judaici. . . Commentarium ” (después de 1690). Newton creía que la arquitectura del Templo de Salomón contenía secretos divinos que se habían perdido hacía mucho tiempo. Basó su descripción y este bosquejo en comparaciones detalladas del texto hebreo bíblico con las versiones de la Septuaginta y la Vulgata. Colección Grace K. Babson de las obras de Sir Isaac Newton en la Biblioteca Huntington, el Museo de Arte y los Jardines Botánicos.

La Colección Babson también ha sido fundamental para la reevaluación de la religión de Newton. A lo largo de su vida extraordinariamente productiva, Newton escribió más sobre temas religiosos que sobre todos sus intereses científicos combinados. Sus contemporáneos lo consideraban un teólogo erudito y astuto, pero si todos sus puntos de vista se hubieran hecho públicos, indudablemente habría recibido una valoración más negativa. En resumen, según los estándares de su época, Newton era un hereje. Más atrozmente, negó la trinidad y creyó que Cristo era una creación de Dios.

Newton también estuvo muy involucrado en la profecía bíblica, la cronología e incluso la interpretación simbólica de la arquitectura bíblica. El manuscrito del "Templo de Salomón" es posiblemente el artículo más destacado de la Colección Babson y fue escrito en un momento en que la determinación de las dimensiones del Templo de Salomón era un enigma importante en la investigación teológica. Newton creía que la arquitectura del templo contenía secretos antiguos codificados sobre Dios y el universo, y estaba lejos de estar solo en esto. La ciencia y la religión a menudo han sido retratadas como amargos antagonistas, pero el estudio de individuos como Newton ha revelado una imagen mucho más complicada.


Este documento oficial, refrendado por Newton, es de sus primeros años como director de la Royal Mint. Es un certificado de fianza por valor de 300 libras esterlinas —una suma nada despreciable— para un tal John Irish, acusado de recortar monedas. Colección Grace K. Babson de las obras de Sir Isaac Newton en la Biblioteca Huntington, el Museo de Arte y los Jardines Botánicos.

Otra área de la Colección Babson que los estudiosos han explorado recientemente se refiere a la época de Newton en la Royal Mint. En la última década del siglo XVII, Newton había ganado una gran celebridad por su trabajo en física y matemáticas, y como resultado, se le ofreció el puesto de director (1696-1700) y luego maestro (1700-1727) de la Royal Menta. Newton took very seriously what was supposed to have been a formal sinecure at the mint and involved himself in the reform of currency and even the prosecution and punishment of coin clippers and counterfeiters. The Babson Collection has several manuscript documents that were issued by the mint and show that Newton carried out his administrative affairs with the same assiduousness as his physics and mathematics, including the prosecution of these crimes (which were punishable by death).

Newton’s genius is strongly resistant to simple characterization, and while it is now clear that he was neither an Enlightenment rationalist nor an irrational magician, there continue to be many questions about how the diverse areas of his thought worked together. Whatever the answers to these questions reveal, the Babson Collection will undoubtedly continue to help scholars uncover new aspects of Newton and the history of science that we didn’t know.

On Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in Rothenberg Hall, Rob Iliffe, professor of the history of science at the University of Oxford, will deliver his Dibner Lecture, titled “The Uses of Evidence in the Newton-Leibniz Priority Dispute.” The 17th-century dispute between mathematicians Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz over who first invented calculus was a major intellectual controversy for decades. Iliffe will discuss two little-known documents that reveal how Newton’s approach to prosecuting contemporary counterfeiters as a warden of the Royal Mint was closely aligned to his strategy for revealing corruption in Christianity. Free reservations required.

Joel A. Klein is the Molina Curator of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences at The Huntington.


Isaac Newton’s burnt ‘Great Pyramid’ notes reveal secret quest to predict the APOCALYPSE

HE'S one of history's greatest thinkers, but while Sir Isaac Newton changed our understanding of the universe, he had some pretty bonkers ideas in his time, too.

Unpublished notes penned by the acclaimed English physicist detail his obsessive quest to unlock the secrets of the Ancient Egyptian pyramids.

Newton believed, according to his 17th Century scribblings, that the structures' measurements could help him predict the apocalypse.

Three pages scrawled by the legendary academic are expected to fetch a six-figure sum in an auction launched by Sotheby's.

They date to the 1680s and feature musings on the Great Pyramid of Egypt, ancient units of measurement, and Biblical prophecy. Bidding ends Tuesday.

According to the online listing, the notes were almost lost forever when they were scorched in a fire said to have erupted when Newton's dog, Diamond, jumped up onto a table and knocked over a candle.

"The pyramids at Giza are not just the greatest architectural marvels that survive of the ancient world: To Newton, as to many others, they were a key that could unlock profound secrets," Sotheby's writes in its listing.

"The Great Pyramid could help him glean an understanding of Biblical prophecy it could lead him to a knowledge of the timing of the Apocalypse.

"He also is likely to have hoped that it could provide the proof for his Theory of Gravity."

In the scorched writings, Newton, who studied the pyramids in the late 17th century while at Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire, claimed that unlocking their secrets may help solve other mysteries about the world.

He was feverishly trying to work out the unit of measurement used by the Ancient Egyptians while building the last remaining Wonder of the World.

Newton believed the ancient people knew how to measure the Earth, and by finding out how they measured the pyramids would himself be able to calculate our planet's circumference.

He hoped that this would lead him to other ancient measurements, allowing him to calculate the dimensions of the Temple of Solomon – the setting of the apocalypse.

This, in turn, would supposedly help him predict the end of the world.

Newton is famed for his theories on maths and astronomy, but he also produced many works that would now be classified as occult studies.

Newton kept his views on the supernatural a secret for fear of ruining his glittering career in science and philosophy.

At the time of writing, the leading bid for his "Pyramid papers" sits at £280,000 ($370,000).

"These are really fascinating papers because in them you can see Newton trying to work out the secrets of the pyramids," Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s manuscript specialist, told the Observer.

"The papers take you remarkably quickly straight to the heart of a number of the deepest questions Newton was investigating."

A brief history of Ancient Egypt

Here's everything you need to know.

  • The Ancient Egyptians were an advanced civilisation who at one point ruled over a huge portion of the globe
  • The civilisation was founded about 5,000 years ago when ancient people set up villages along the River Nile
  • It lasted for about 3,000 years and saw the building of complex cities centuries ahead of their time – as well as the famous Great Pyramids
  • The Ancient Egyptians were experts at farming and construction
  • They invented a solar calendar, and one of the world's earliest writing systems: The hieroglyph
  • The Egyptians were ruled by kings and queens called pharaohs
  • Religion and the afterlife were a huge part of Ancient Egyptian culture. They had over 2,000 gods
  • Pharaohs built huge elaborate tombs to be buried in, some of which were pyramids – at the time among the largest structures in the world
  • The Egyptians believed in life after death, and important people's corpses were mummified to preserve their bodies for the afterlife
  • The Ancient Egyptian empire fell in 30BC due to a mix of factors, including wars with other empires and a 100-year period of drought and starvation

Sir Isaac remains a household name almost 300 years on from his death thanks to his groundbreaking scientific ideas.

His theories on gravity and motion changed our understanding of the universe by explaining the movement of objects under everyday conditions.

The physicist is believed to have penned enough papers to fill 150 novel-length books during his decades-long career in the sciences.

He kept his more outlandish papers a secret for fear of retribution from religious leaders, who believed experimental science was akin to heresy.

New documents and other scribbling emerge with surprising frequency, giving historians fresh insight into his seminal work.

Those currently on auction are said to have been discovered in the 1880s, 200 years after Newton is thought to have written them.


Isaac Newton and Natural Philosophy

By Niccolò Guicciardini

The final book you’ve chosen is by Niccolo Guicciardini and it’s called Isaac Newton and Natural Philosophy. It’s a much more recent publication. What does this book add to the picture?

Guicciardini’s is the first synthetic book that really tries to incorporate what you could call the new Newton scholarship. He has read and analysed Newton and the Origin of Civilization, Buchwald and Feingold’s work. He’s also quite familiar with Iliffe’s work. He knows some of my work on Newton’s alchemy and he really does try to come to a new synthesis. You get a picture of Newton not so much as a kind of psychopath—that you get in Manuel and to some degree Westfall—but rather Newton as a kind of ‘Caltech geek,’ as Mordechai Feingold has put it. He is somebody who’s on the spectrum, but is not outright crazy.

To what extent did Newton’s achievements in natural philosophy lead him or others to dismiss the views he held on biblical literalism and chronology?

I would say that Newton’s influence in natural philosophy ultimately led away from the very things that he was trying to push not just in chronology, but also in religion more generally. For example, the second edition of the Principia, his major work on gravitation and so forth, includes something called the “General Scholium”, which is an attempt to argue for the necessity of God as the being that orders the universe. That’s absent from the first edition of the Principia. Newton was clearly worried that his natural philosophical work was going to lead, if not directly to atheism, then to a kind of disregard for religion. So you see him inserting these attempts to link his natural philosophical ideas to the necessity of religion in various different works of his.

Another example would be in the 1717 edition of the Optics. los Optics contains so-called “queries” that are hypothetical and Newton frames them in the form of questions. The last query makes a strong argument against Descartes’s idea that there is a fixed amount of motion in the universe, that motion is just getting transferred from one microscopic corpuscle to another, and so that motion could go on forever. Newton argues directly against that and for the necessity of what he calls “active principles”, which ultimately clearly go back to God. He thinks there’s an active principle behind gravity, that there’s an active principle behind magnetism and that there’s an active principle behind electricity. Clearly he’s trying to link these natural phenomena back to the necessity for the existence of a divinity.

So he was very worried about this and he was right to be so. Ultimately the Newtonian world picture did make it unnecessary to invoke direct divine causation. This is one of the reasons why Newton doesn’t like Descartes, because he felt that Cartesianism would lead to atheism. But ultimately the same thing could be said of his own natural philosophy.

Did he address that directly?

In the “General Scholium” he argues very clearly not only that there is a God, but that God is the Lord, the ruler of all. He has a very Old Testament view of God, which is obviously related to his unitarianism. He thinks that Jesus was the son of God, but Jesus nonetheless is not part of God in the way that the trinitarians believe.

There’s another issue that is worth mentioning and that is the issue of compartmentalization of Newton’s thought, a topic that Iliffe discusses. Newton was essentially brilliant at everything that he undertook seriously. Obviously, he was particularly successful in the realm of natural philosophy, what we would call physics, but the same can be said of his religious writings. They really are highly original and extremely ingenious, even if you don’t believe them. The same can be said of his alchemical writing. He was making compounds that people may or may not have discovered even today.

This leads to a different question, which is, how did all of these different pursuits integrate or did they? I hinted at this earlier with the issue of chronology and alchemy and the interpretation of mythology, and how it seems that Isaac Newton was keeping the alchemical and the historical interpretations of mythology quite distinct.

The issue of compartmentalization has really come to the fore as a result of more and more rigorous scholarship on these different aspects of Newton’s thought. These works that I’ve recommended to you, in particular Buchwald and Feingold and Iliffe, are carrying out research on particular aspects of Isaac Newton’s thought in more and more detail. And so the question of how to deal with all of these different sides of Newton has become really very problematic. Guicciardini deals with this I think rather successfully, but nonetheless questions remain as to how you approach this extreme compartmentalization. Is there a relationship between Newton’s ideas on physics and his ideas on alchemy, for example, and if so, what is its precise character?

Even if Newton hadn’t found the unifying factor amongst all these things, Newton must have thought there must be some coherence between them.

I’m not sure that’s right. I don’t know. The problem is you have this guy who is clearly an out-of-control genius. Isaac Newton gets interested in something and he pursues it to the nth degree. He almost can’t control himself. It’s like he can’t turn his brain off. So he just happens to be incredibly good at almost anything he does. Let me give you a parallel example from personal experience. I had a colleague years ago, at Indiana University, who was a brilliant philosopher of science. He was also an Epicurean cook and he also was so good at playing the French horn that he was able to play it in an orchestra in a major city. Did he think all those things were connected? I’m not so sure.

If someone believes in a God who’s the author of the universe, then it implies there must be a coherence between all areas of knowledge. I suppose that’s why I thought he must he must have felt there was some sort of coherence between all these things—some underlying laws.

I think that’s true, but at such an abstract and general level that it might not even touch Isaac Newton’s actual work. For instance, Newton’s view of Christianity ultimately boiled down to very general precepts such as ‘Love thy neighbour,’ ‘Profess the reality of Jesus Christ as the Son of the Father,’ and that kind of thing. So all of the incredibly detailed work that he did in interpreting prophecy, for example, or in writing against the Trinity, may not really have interacted with those very general precepts in any significant way. Isaac Newton was a virtuoso at practically everything he undertook, and virtuosity in multiple areas of endeavour need not imply their interconnectedness.

The problem of assuming an underlying unity to Isaac Newton’s thought also emerges from an examination of his alchemy. The issue with alchemy is problematic because alchemical writings are often filled with references to God. And the reason for that I think is because alchemists themselves were constantly under threat of being accused of counterfeiting and so forth. So they tried to build up the picture of themselves as extremely religious people. I really think that’s the case. When [the Newton historian] Betty Jo Dobbs interpreted that material in his manuscripts she came to the conclusion that, ‘Yes, of course, this is really all about Isaac Newton’s religion.’ Yet there’s actually very little evidence to support Dobbs’s view, because if you look at the work Isaac Newton wrote on theology, there are practically no references to alchemy. In reality it appears that he kept these topics in fairly watertight compartments. So as historians we have to be very, very careful not to make assumptions. Typically we want to say all of these things are related, but maybe not. They may simply reflect virtuoso performances in a variety of unrelated or only loosely related areas rather than manifestations of a single underlying quest for unity.


The Madness of Sir Isaac Newton

In his painting ‘Newton’, the British poet and painter, William Blake, represents Newton as a divine geometer. He is sitting naked on a rock at the bottom of the ocean leaning over a scroll, and measuring the symbol of the Trinity.

Blake’s depiction of Newton’s persona is symbolic, but it is closer to the real Newton than any other artistic rendition. Much of what we know about Newton is based on his extraordinary contributions to science such as the three major laws of motion (the principles of inertia, force, action and reaction), the law of gravitation, and his discoveries in optics, astronomy, and mathematics. Newton’s laws enabled measurements of actual distances, speeds, and weights to be calculated, laying the foundation of modern inventions from the steam engine to the space rocket. In large part because of Newton, the empirical approach, based on the rule that you must try out ideas by testing them, became the norm.

However, there is a part of Newton’s life that is less talked about, the part that concerns his character and its connection to his discoveries.

Newton’s biography is a catalog of the symptoms of bipolar (or manic depressive) disorder, an illness he suffered from most of his life. Romantic writers often called manic depression ‘a disease of men of genius’, while others considered it an essential element for creativity. It was argued that depression made one a perfectionist and mania led to intense periods of productivity, faith in ones own talent, and the need to prove oneself right.

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Newton exhibited signs of bipolar disorder early in life he was a solitary child who didn’t engage in games with other children. He spent most of his time alone, building miniature mills, machines, carts, and other inventions. He was high strung, egotistical, and dominant. He experienced attacks of rage, which he directed toward his friends and family. He later recalled ‘threatening my father and mother to burn them and the house over them.’

Newton also had intense moments of remorse, when he made long lists of his ‘sins’ or wrongdoings. His list recorded ‘striking many’, ‘punching my sister’, ‘peevishness with my mother’. His violent temper made him unpopular and his peers and the servants rejoiced when Newton left home for Cambridge.

At Cambridge, Newton made only one friend among his fellow students. His notebooks on his college years document anxiety, sadness, fear, a low opinion of himself, and suicidal thoughts.

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After his appointment as Fellow of the University in Cambridge, Newton continued to have manic episodes, often forgetting to eat. Such events were usually followed by a collapse into depression, and he would become enraged by any criticism of his work. As a result, he would withdraw from the scientific community and refuse to continue his research.

Despite his success and recognition, Newton was afraid to expose his work to the criticism of fellow scientists. He kept his calculus secret until Leibniz made a claim of discovering it first. And if it wasn’t for his astronomer-friend, Edmund Halley’s encouragement, he probably wouldn’t have published his most important work, the Principia.

Newton avoided the company of others. When he had to interact with people, he contributed little to conversations. His relationships with other scientists were tyrannical. He would refuse to speak to those who dared to disagree with him. Newton sought quarrels with friends and foes alike.

There were two people in Newton’s life whom he loved. One was his niece, Catherine Barton, who became her uncle’s housekeeper in London, and the other was a Swiss mathematician – Fatio de Duillier, who was only 25 years old when he met Newton. Because of the great emotional intensity of their relationship, and the fact that neither man ever married, some of Newton’s biographers suspect their relationship was homosexual in nature, but there is no proof.


Sir Isaac Newton’s Secret Quest for the God Engine - History

"In science, the search is only for the physical root and source of things whereas through Torah, one can discern the spiritual root.

In this way, one can also know the purpose of this object's creation, in accordance with the divine will as He revealed it to us in His Torah." - The Rebbe, Mind Over Matter, p.171

I just received your email about Newton and thought I would share this dvar Torah I gave last year at my (Chabad) shul in Atlanta, Ga.

Samuel Silver .

Dear Readers,

Here's an extract of that fascinating and enlightening talk Reb Sam gave in honor of his fathers Yartzeit. AG

  • By age 22, Newton was the greatest mathematician in the history of the world, although he kept this secret and didn't publish his invention of Calculus for another 40 years. His Calculus and other mathematical creations are still used today.
  • In the field of Optics, Newton (using a prism) established the heterogeneity of light and developed our understanding of color. Everything we know about light and color, from the color of the sky, to the formation of rainbows, to color vision is based on Newton. He also invented the reflecting telescope which is still today the basis for almost all large land and space based telescopes.
  • Anyone who has studied physics has learned Newton's three laws of motion, still fundamental to our understanding of the physical world.
    • Law of Inertia
    • Law of Acceleration
    • Law of reciprocal actions: For every action force there is an equal, but opposite, reaction force .

    What drove Newton to understand the physical world? This was a man who studied, usually alone 18 hours a day, 7 days a week for most of his life. What was he looking for?

    It is only in recent years that we are learning Newton's great secret - a secret that would have destroyed his career during his lifetime and is not being favorably received by modern secularists.

    Upon his death in 1727, a big box of unusual papers was discovered in his room. Bishop Samuel Horsley, who was also a scientist, "was asked to inspect the box with view to publication. He saw the contents with horror and slammed the lid. " shut.[1]

    Newton left these papers to his niece, and they sat in the family home unread for two centuries. None of the great universities or libraries was interested. Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, and the British Library all turned down offers for a donation. They were eventually sold at public auction in 1936 where they were spread around the world, but three main collections remained together:

    • John Maynard Keynes, the British great economist, eventually donated his to Kings College at Cambridge.
    • The Babson family in America, donated to MIT.[2]
    • And Israeli Professor Avraham Shalom Yahuda's collection, now at the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem.

    It's only in the past 20-25 years that these manuscripts have been made available, and scholars are still working on them. Unfortunately many others have not yet been found and may have been destroyed or lost forever.

    The first and for many years only public statement about these papers was from Keynes, who in 1946 after reading through the papers he had bought, wrote that Newton was "a Judaic monotheist of the school of Maimonides. He arrived at this conclusion, not on so-to-speak rational or sceptical grounds, but entirely on the interpretation of ancient authority. He was persuaded that the revealed documents give no support to the Trinitarian doctrines which were due to late falsification. The revealed G-d was one G-d."[3]

    For Newton, the "ancient authority" in the "revealed documents" was our guide to the ultimate truth of the physical world, of what he called "true religion," and of the one true G-d that not only created the universe, but "rules all things. as the Lord of all."[4]

    Like Thomas Jefferson after him, Newton was a Unitarian, a controversial Christian who rejected the concept of the Trinity.

    To quote Jose Faur, a Jewish scholar who has studied Newton's papers: "The papers reveal that Newton was a strict monotheist. He saw no need for a new revelation and rebuffed the Christian notion of atonement and salvation. Siding with Rabbinic tradition and contra Christian doctrine, he maintained that the Noahide precepts alone suffice for salvation, and thus there is no need for J----' expiatory death. . Newton was resolute in his belief that the Law of Moses was not abrogated with the advent of Christianity. Therefore, the Christian Scripture must be understood in light of the Hebrew Scripture, and not the other way around."[5]

    Now you can understand why the Bishop slammed shut the lid on that box![6]

    Professor Bernard Cohen, probably the foremost authority on Newton in the United States, sums up his interpretation of Newton by declaring: "Of course, Newton had a real secret, and concerning it he did his best to keep the world in ignorance." He intended to uphold the theology and cosmology of the medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides. Cohen argues that this medieval synthesis of biblical religion with the philosophy of Aristotle constituted the ideal of Newton.

    Newton's library contained far more books on theology than on any other subject. He was not as expert in Hebrew as other British scholars such as one of his sources, John Selden, or to a lesser degree his friend John Locke so many of his books were Latin translations of Jewish works, most notable Maimonides' Mishne Torah and other seforim such as Seder Olam and Abravanel's commentary on Leviticus. He also studied Kaballah, but through secondary sources.[7]

    Jose Faur also tells us that: "Newton's knowledge of Rabbinics was neither casual nor superficial. To illustrate, when expounding the apocalyptic conflict of Gog and Magog, Newton refers to the Targum or Aramaic Version of Esther, as well as to Vayikra Rabba, and the commentaries of Se'adya Gaon and Ibn `Ezra. In a discussion of a Rabbinic passage, Newton records the opinion of R. Aharon ha-Levi, the supposed author of Sefer ha-Hinnukh, and his disagreement with Rashi on the matter at hand.' He also refers to the. Sifra as well as to the position of R. Aharon ibn Hayyim (born c. 1560), the author of Qorban Aharon. Later on, he discusses Seder Ma'amadot (the participation of the Israelites in the daily sacrifices) and quotes the opinion of Bertinoro on the Mishna Yoma (7:1). There are extensive copies inNewton's own hand of passages from the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmud in Latin."[8]

    While it appears that he did not have a complete translation of Moreh Nevuchim, one of his most "dog eared" volumes is a Latin commentary on Maimonides that includes many references to the Moreh which was Maimonides' attempt to reconcile Torah with science and the philosophy of Aristotle.

    Most people have no idea how influential Rambam and Jewish thought were in the development of western civilization, especially after the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century. For example, Newton along with other 17th Century scholars such as John Selden and Hugo Grotius who were the founders of International Law, accepted the seven Noachide Laws as the basis for civilization and all quote Rambam as their source.

    I need to point out that Newton was not a crypto-Jew nor probably even philo-Semitic. As far as we know, he never even met a living Jew, even though they began returning to England during his lifetime.[9]

    His study of and admiration for Jewish thought was a result of his belief in the validity of Biblical Scripture and Prophecy. As a Newton expert states, "Newton's pursuit of the truths hidden in Nature is what made him famous, but his pursuit of truths hidden in Scripture was at least as important to him both conceal aspects of the same truth."[10] "The Key Element in all Newton's theological pursuits is the action of the Supreme G-d's Providence in history, particularly that of the ancient Jews and the Christian church which emerged from them."[11]

    One of Newton's main areas of study was the physical dimensions and configuration of the Mishkan and Temples. He especially focused on the third Temple using the book of Yechezkel - Ezekiel, which contains detailed prophecies related to the third Temple to be built in Messianic times.

    Newton looked at the Mishkan and the Temples as the Jews did - a representation of the universe as created by G-d. In manuscript after manuscript he made detailed analyses and drawings trying to understand the hidden meanings.


    He worked out an analysis of the amah or cubit, titled, "A Dissertation upon the Sacred Cubit of the Jews and Cubits of the several Nations."[12] Newton was especially interested in the cubit as he thought it would allow him to determine the exact circumference of the earth in his studies on gravity. He believed that the Great Pyramid at Giza was built using the cubit as its basic unit of measurement, and he believed the Egyptians had learned the secret of Solomon's Temple from Hiram the Phoenician king of Tyre who Solomon hired to assist in the construction.[13]

    He also believed Jewish ideas were the basis for Greek mathematics and philosophy. In his Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended, he studied world history and determined that the Greeks had falsely predated their history by 300-400 years to cover-up that they had received their ideas in mathematics and philosophy from the Jews. For example, he hypothesized that Plato traveled to Egypt where he made contact with Jews.

    In the introduction to his Chronology, Newton stated that "The Greek Antiquities are full of poetical fictions, because the Greeks wrote nothing in Prose, before the conquest of Asia by Cyrus the Persian." He also points out what he calls "uncertainties" in the chronology of the Romans.

    One of the fascinating conclusions of Newton was that the configuration of the Temple with the altar as a central point "was a reflection of the cosmic, heliocentric harmony of G-d's universe."[14] He believed the ancient Jews knew the sun was the center of the Solar System!

    Newton's friend John Locke reported a conversation where Newton explained the creation of matter by G-d as a process of drawing back - what we know as tzimtzum. Newton's view of Kabbalah is still being debated by scholars, but it appears he believed the original Kabbalah had been corrupted by the idolatrous Egyptians in their contact with the Jews, and this corruption led to mistakes in Greek philosophy and especially Christianity where he attributed the erroneous idea of the Trinity to kabbalistic concepts of emanation,[15] neither of which I understand nor can explain.

    Another interesting point is that Newton believed G-d created and continues to create all matter, constantly and everywhere. Some have attributed his source to Kabbalah, but it appears he developed it without recourse to Kabbalah, and in the secret manuscripts he blames Kabbalists for confusing this point - leading to a belief in primordial matter instead of Creation from nothing.

    How today's secularists and strident atheists will deal with the idea of the world's greatest scientist being such a devout believer in G-d and divinely revealed scripture is still to be determined. But already, in G-d is Not Great, Christopher Hitchens attacks Newton as a religious fool who dabbled in alchemy.[16] What Hitchens omits is that serious scientists are now recreating Newton's experiments which he indeed called alchemy. Instead of a mystical quest to create a "philosopher's stone" to turn lead into gold, these scientists believe Newton was using ancient texts to develop a theory of matter, and his experiments anticipated modern chemistry.[17]

    In summary, it is interesting that arguably the greatest scientist of all time, devoted his life to uncovering the secrets of Creation provided by G-d. Along with Rambam, he saw no conflict between science and G-d's revealed Truth in scripture, providence, and the physical world.


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